FBI Investigating Conservative Media Sites for Links to Russia
According to a new report from McClatchy, federal investigators are not only looking into any links between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives, they are also investigating several right-wing, pro-Trump websites to determine if they worked with the Russians to disseminate “fake news” on social media. Among the websites under suspicion are the conspiracy-minded InfoWars and Breitbart.com. The FBI is also looking into the Russian-backed news sites RT and Sputnik News.
Operatives for Russia appear to have strategically timed computer commands, known as “bots,” to blitz social media with links to the pro-Trump stories at times when the billionaire businessman was on the defensive in his race against Democrat Hillary Clinton, these sources said.
The bots’ end products were largely millions of Twitter and Facebook posts carrying links to stories on conservative internet sites such as Breitbart News and InfoWars, as well as on the Kremlin-backed RT News and Sputnik News, the sources said. Some of the stories were false or mixed fact and fiction, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the bot attacks are part of an FBI-led investigation into a multifaceted Russian operation to influence last year’s elections.
Investigators examining the bot attacks are exploring whether the far-right news operations took any actions to assist Russia’s operatives.
So, in other words, the belief is that Moscow created a bunch of fake social media accounts and they used those accounts to link back to stories from RT, Sputnik, InfoWars, and Breitbart. And now the FBI wants to know if the latter two sites helped facilitate the spread of these stories? What’s the ultimate outcome here? Oh, we see that you didn’t mind when these bots sent all this traffic to your website…what’s up with that? What else would the owners of those sites do?
Oh, and we’re really going to pretend that Clinton’s campaign wasn’t making use of bots and social media trolls to influence the election? McClatchy reports that Donna Brazile – who blatantly cheated during the campaign, providing Clinton with debate questions in advance – said that “neither the party committee nor the Clinton campaign had used bots to widen the reach of their anti-Trump messages.” Well, who can argue with such a reliable, honest source? Okay, maybe they didn’t use “bots,” but there’s no question that David Brock’s Correct the Record PAC paid people to canvas sites like Reddit with pro-Hillary, anti-Trump messages. If there’s a difference there, it’s purely semantic.
The Democrats know damn well that they will not be able to prove that Trump colluded with the Russians, but they are going to do everything they can to make sure that nothing like this can ever happen again. That means going after the news sites that supported Trump, which means curtailing conservative media, the free internet, and the free press. The unrestrained dissemination of information is a danger to the Democratic Party, as the 2016 election proved. If the nation isn’t getting its news solely from the liberal “mainstream” media, they aren’t voting for Democrats.
If Breitbart and InfoWars fall first, who falls next?